I know that to name someone could mean to give him a name (for newborn babies for example), but I would like to know if this can be used to contempt someone? For example, to say, "people name him" to mean people use vulgar names (like crazy,.. etc. ) to someone? if not what verb is used for that?


The equivalent phrase in English is "to call someone names", an action that is also referred to as name-calling.

  • yeah, I've just confused it :) – Ahmad Sep 5 '20 at 10:45

To express contempt, one might "call someone a bad name".

For example, one could "call someone a dog/rat/pig". These animals are all insulting things to call people.

One could also "call someone a cheat/liar/con man".

Your word "crazy" isn't a name, but a descriptive adjective.

It's less common to say "name someone" in that context.


You can “call someone [adjective]” or “call someone a [noun]”.

This can be positive, such as calling someone smart or calling them a genius.

It can also be negative, such as calling someone stupid or calling them an idiot.

You can’t “call someone names” yourself, but you can report others doing so, and it is presumed to mean various bad things that you are too polite to repeat.

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